McKenzie: "Stepan's name is fairly prominent in trade chatter"

Phil Kocher
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Phil Kocher

Managing Editor & Cofounder at
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Phil Kocher
@ me

As if the Rangers’ announcement that they will buy out the final years of Dan Girardi’s contract wasn’t impactful enough news today, Bob McKenzie just poured fuel on the fire. Apparently, Derek Stepan is on the block.

McKenzie later corrected the $6M typo (his AAV is $6.5M), but the news alone was enough to cause another set of heart palpitations as Rangers fans hardly knew what to do with themselves.

Questions and rumors of Stepan’s future with the Rangers have been elevated since the Blueshirts’ second-round loss to the Senators, in the wake of which Stepan was especially critical of himself:

“Individually, I’m disappointed and ashamed and flat-out embarrassed,” Stepan said. “It kills me I was not able to find my game. It is what it is, just have to live with it.”

“It’s confidence for me,” he said. “Confidence in making the right plays. Just struggled to do it, all playoff long.”

An important factor to all of this is the fact that Stepan has a full No Trade Clause (NTC) that will kick in on July 1st. Until that day comes, he has no recourse or say in where he can be dealt. That gives Jeff Gorton a small but unique window in which he can potentially dramatically alter the look of his Rangers should he opt to move Stepan within it.

With just five days before Vegas expansion begins, one thing is for certain — this news will leave Rangers fans with pins and needles, nervously anticipating whatever action or inaction Gorton takes.


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  1. TwoMinutesForNothing
    Anthony DeAngelo would be perfect from Az. Righty, big time offense, and from the area.

    He's not a top pairing guy, but has drawn comparisons to Dan Boyle. He is young and cheap and we could still sign Shatty too.
    Perfect defense.

    So get more from them. He's still a great piece. 21 year old future star offensive Dman.

    Hypothetically then, LV could draft someone along the lines of a Dumba and flip him to us for Stepan or 1st Rd pick and a prospect--is that what you mean or is it wishful thinking?
    Sent from my iPad using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk

    Hypothetically, that can happen yes. Though Vegas will be all about gaining assets instead of trading them for immediate success. All signs point towards building from the draft and having a strong farm.
    More of what I meant is that additional trades will pick up on Thursday when the trade ban is lifted, and will probably get its heaviest at the draft.
    Hypothetically then, LV could draft someone along the lines of a Dumba and flip him to us for Stepan or 1st Rd pick and a prospect--is that what you mean or is it wishful thinking?

    Yes. Now Vegas drafts from 31 teams + make/made trades, sign FAs, and load up on draft choices. They'll have access to plenty of players and cap. Too many, so trades will happen. McPhee said he will be running an "auction".
    Stepan for Dumba (obviously they agree not to select Lindberg) may be good for the team overall, considering the cap, youth, need for a potential top RHD, etc. Yet, it still feels like a Ranger overpay. Dumba was not supplanting Spurgeon, just not a true top pair guy yet. He has some questions in his game, but his upside is still high.
    What would work is also select another player/center from their pool. That would be super interesting to negotiate, gorton scouring the list. The Ranger's could also add pieces depending on the additional player.
    Or keep Step or trade him to someone else by July 1. Instead offer our 2018 #2 and/or a couple of bonafide AHLers who still project as NHLers. Whoever they like from Gropp, Nieves, Jensen, Zborovskiy, Kovacs, etc. Gropp might be a tough loss, he really impressed at the end of the season.
    Vegas will want to grow most of their talent in the AHL, versus signing filler. The Rangers would not need to commit money + term to Shattenkirk.
    Also this, from Bob.
    Roster freeze is now on and NYR did not make a deal before 3 p.m. ET deadline. Not to say they won't when freeze lifts Thursday 8 a.m ET.
    Now, the only trades that can be made are with Vegas. Trades with other teams cannot happen until 8am on Thursday. The protection lists come out tomorrow at 10am, I believe. Trades with Vegas won't be announced until Wednesday night when the draft is televised.
    Darren Dreger @DarrenDreger
    Despite Johnson's inclusion in the Smith trade to the Flames, I'm told Arizona is still in the market for a starting goaltender.
    Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie
    Johnson going to ARI is related to expansion draft. ARI needed a goalie to protect. Johnson fits bill:
    Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun
    Chad Johnson also going to Arizona as part of that deal
    Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun
    Replying to @MrSeanGordon
    bargain shopping in the next hour. Teams that want something back for guys they're not going to protect in the expansion draft.
    Starting to think this could be one of those days that you think something big is going to happen and absolutely nothing does.
    We'll know soon enough.
    Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun
    Nathan Beaulieu's skating ability should fit in well with how Phil Housley will want the Sabres to play. Good spot for him.
    Bob McKenzie Retweeted
    Canadiens Montréal @CanadiensMTL
    The Canadiens acquire BUF's 3rd-round pick (68) in 2017 , in return for N. Beaulieu.

    Damn, I like that trade for Buf, Beaulieu still has potential.
    Thx crossfire.